Thursday, 20 July 2023 08:09

What are Routers in Networking?

By  Zain Abbas

You might have heard the word router in almost all your tech-related conversations. And if the term has always intimidated you, then you must have always wondered what it essentially means. As simple as it sounds, a router is a modern device that aids you in receiving as well as transferring data and information over computer networks. 

It is a very essential part of networking. You must have read about it on your Internet Service Provider’s (ISPs) website as well. Several ISPs offer plans that give away free routers and modems. 

Optimum, for instance, offers an Optimum Internet 300 plan that includes a Free Gateway, which provides a next-generation modem and router. If you are also looking to avail this internet plan, just simply contact Optimum en español (for Latin Americans) and get to know all the relevant details regarding it. 

In this article, we will be explaining the concept of routers to you in simpler words.

We will begin by giving you an overview of the router. This will be followed by discussing its functions, its different uses, its types, etc. Make sure to take notes while reading this post. This way you will be able to properly comprehend the concept in question. We are hoping that by the end of this article, you would have complete knowledge about this popular piece of equipment. 

So put on your reading glasses and keep reading. 

What exactly is a router?

The router is essentially a virtual interconnecting piece of equipment that is developed to effectively receive, inspect, and transfer data bundles between different computer networks. The most interesting part about a router is that it analyzes the IP address of a particular data packet, and then utilizes the headers to figure out the most suitable way to pass on the packets. 

Many famous businesses like Cisco, Juniper, Nortel, etc. help in designing state-of-the-art routers. Now that you have a general idea of what routers really are, let us move ahead and enlighten you with some key pointers:

  • A router is a big part of the Local Area Network and a Wide Area Network. For instance, it is effectively utilized in office spaces for the purpose of connectivity. 
  • Moreover, you can also use it to build a link between remote networks. 
  • It also shares data with other routers present in the network. 
  • It transfers the information packets over a network via a routing protocol.
  • In addition, it costs more than switches and hubs, which are two common networking devices.

Based on a system's IP address, a router operates on the third level of the ‘OSI model’. To interact effectively with several networks, it employs protocols like ICMP. Because it can automatically choose the optimum route to transport the network packets from the source to the last terminal, it is also referred to as a smart device.

Different types of routers

Depending on their intended uses, many routers are available. The most common kinds of routers are:

  1. Wireless router: They connect WiFi-enabled devices, such as laptops and cellphones, to the internet. Additionally, they can offer conventional Ethernet routing. 
  2. Broadband routers: The purpose of these routers is to help you connect to the Internet over a phone line and to deliver speedy Internet access using the voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) feature. 
  3. Core Routers: They are able to route data bundles within a certain network, but not across networks. They constitute the network's backbone by connecting all the devices in it. 
  4. Edge routers: They are small, low-capacity, compact routers positioned on the edges of networks. They serve as a link between internal as well as external networks and can be used to send data bundles between networks. 

Router Applications

A router is used in many different contexts:

  • Hardware equipment is effectively linked to other distant location networks, and other servers using routers.
  • It is used in both wired as well as wireless transmission. We are saying this because it supports a swift rate of data transmission.
  • Routers are frequently used by internet service providers to transmit data in the form of web pages, images, voice files, and video files from the origin to the last terminal. With the aid of the destination's IP address, it can also transport data anywhere across the globe.
  • Moreover, routers provide access limitations. It can be set up so that just a selected few users have access to all of the data, while everyone else can only access the data that has been designed for them.

Final words

Routers are a very essential part of a computer network. In this article, we have tried our best to explain the basics of routers to you. By now, you must be familiar with its types, functions, and applications. 


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